Runners, Spectators Take Increased Security Measures

6:38 PM, Apr 21, 2013   |    comments
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ALEXANDRIA, Va. (WUSA9) -- The biggest race in the region, since the Boston Marathon bombing, took place in Alexandria Sunday morning.

Thousands ran the George Washington Parkway Classic 10-miler.

There was increased security and changes along the route nearly a week after the tragedy in Boston.

Runners were pumped up for the 29th annual George Washington Parkway Classic 10-miler and 5k run.

Runners wearing blue and yellow ribbon in honor of Boston, were under tight security.

"We were concerned a little about copycats but it's more important to be here," said Barbara Wright, a spectator.

Wright came to support her boyfriend Steve.

"I think there's a minor concern, but you can't let that stop you."

Organizers have worked with local and federal law enforcement to step up security after the Boston Marathon tragedy.

"They've employed K-9s, removed trash cans, parking. Some you can see some you can't. We're taking a lot of vigilance," said the event organizer, Kathy Dalby.

At the finish line, there is a 'no spectator zone.' The runners cross the finish line away from where friends and loved ones are waiting.

And spectators are OK with that. 

"I think it's right to do it that way."

"It doesn't make it odd but maybe a little anti-climatic."

Runners ran the last mile dedicated to Alexandria Police Officer Peter Laboy who is recovering from a gunshot to the head.

All in all, both runners and spectators took the tight security in stride, knowing the tragedy in Boston has changed the course of future races to come.

Organizers say no one dropped out of the race because of what happened in Boston.


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